How low can you go?

Have you ever wondered how far you can continue to drive after the low fuel warning light comes on? It’s better to never let your tank run that low, but it can happen to anyone occasionally. Even if you’re off the beaten path, you probably don’t need to immediately panic.

Your owner’s manual may tell you how many gallons of fuel remain when the light activates. Some cars will provide an estimate of your remaining range in miles, but this number is not always accurate. The exact driving distance remaining depends on a variety of factors, such as driving habits, highway vs city driving, traffic conditions, heating and cooling operation, and accessory usage. YourMechanic has determined the average range remaining for America’s most popular vehicles. Here are the ranges for the top 15 most common:

1. Ford F-150: 35-80 miles
2. Dodge Ram: 63-87 miles
3. Chevy Silverado: 25 miles
4. Toyota RAV: 57-74 miles
5. Honda CR-V: 62-78 miles
6. Nissan Rogue: 78-99 miles
7. Chevrolet Equinox: 50 miles
8. Toyota Camry: 65-91 miles
9. Honda Civic: 59-80 miles
10. Toyota Corolla: 60-84 miles
11. Honda Accord: 70-93 miles
12. Toyota Tacoma: 63-75 miles
13. Jeep Grand Cherokee: 66-93 miles
14. Ford Escape: 35-80 miles
15. Toyota Highlander: 58-72 miles

It’s still always better to fill up before you get to this point. An electric fuel pump uses the gasoline to cool and lubricate itself. With minimal fuel it’s more likely to overheat and fail. Running low can also suck sediment at the bottom of your tank into the fuel line, clogging the fuel filter or fuel injectors. You can also introduce air to the system that will need to be bled out. Hydraulic power dies with the engine, making it more difficult to brake and steer yourself to the shoulder of the road after you run out of gas.

Written by Hillside Automotive

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